NORTH Queensland's Tariq Sims was shattered when told after the Penrith game two weeks ago that he had suffered a second double leg fracture in nine months.
But there were plenty of smiles when the 22-year-old back-rower returned to the Cowboys' gym on Monday.
Sims (pictured) even thinks there is a "pretty good chance" he will be back playing before season's end.
"I was a bit angry when it first happened, but that's footy. That's the game we play," he said. "The leg's feeling strong, better than it did when it healed last time and I'm just happy that it's on the mend now.
"The way the leg's going right now, there's a pretty good chance I can come back this season. I can't wait. Words can't explain how excited I am."
Although happy with his progress, Sims said he wondered what might have been had he not got injured right before Origin I.
"I wish I could be there and help out the boys as much as I can - I would give my left leg, literally," Sims said. "But I am pumped for the Blues. You can feel the tide turning. We've got to stop this Queensland machine. It's ridiculous."